Meet the team
I love coastal rowing. It’s great being part of a club, part of a crew, finding the focus and drive to train, compete and trying your absolute best to win.
When I was asked to be part of an Atlantic crew and raise money for Body & Soul, a charity which supports children and adults who have suffered childhood traumas, it made total sense.
When my own life turned upside down and I was really struggling with my mental health, it was rowing that kept me going, helping me find self-worth when I was struggling.
Rowing the Atlantic will be the ultimate test of mental strength and physical endurance, and I’m totally up for the challenge – being part of a team of friends, finding our ‘edges’ and getting to the other side while raising money for something close to my heart is a chance I definitely couldn’t say no to!
Ed Van Der Ven
Ed is Dutch but has lived in Edinburgh for 20 years with his wife and two children. He works as a Site Manager for a building company. He is a competent sailor (dingy and keel) and a successful coastal rower with 3 World St Ayles Skiff podium finishes (1x Gold).
An actor and father to 3 young girls. He has been a familiar face on British tele for over 30 years. Was a keen footballer and runner and has completed many marathons, half-marathons and 10Ks and even the Ben Nevis Race. He has also climbed all over the world. His passion for sea rowing began by joining the Eastern Amateur Coastal Rowing Club, who have taught him not only the fundamentals of rowing at sea but also the nurturing values of crewing together.
When not with his amazing young family in Edinburgh Alec is often found out on the water or in Africa with his work in Impact Investment. His loves the Scottish Northwest, adventures and journeying with friends and solo, but nothing beats being able to pick the kids up from school with the boat at Portobello beach.
Famous for not being able to get out of bed in the morning and snoring like a lion, Alec is an obvious candidate for the TWAC. He looks forward to discovering whether his penchant for solo Scottish winter canoe trips have developed any transferable skills to a 5 man tropical offshore rowing race…
TWAC provides the opportunity to do something tough, elemental and visceral which is increasingly rare. To do so while championing a fantastic charity helping people build resilience and overcome adversity seems very fitting as does making a contribution to the nascent heritage of exploration stemming from the modern Scottish coastal rowing scene.